The sun had set, setting the stage for the calm stretch of night. It seemed that when night had fallen, things became quieter. No more was the loud beat of footsteps of hurried people and roaring engines of chrome and steel. All replaced by the sounds of faraway animals and the breeze through the pines. All was replaced by an infinite void of darkness, curiosity and fear.
It seemed the only place that seemed to be up was the city streets. Cars became glowing ribbons that swirled among the narrow streets under the brightly lit citadels of metal and glass. Folks walked through the masses of one another, hats pulled down low and eyes shifting away from one another.
The one building sat wedged between two skyscrapers, adorn in glowing lights and music. Yes, the Artist’s Lounge Bar and Playhouse was in full swing.
Glass and marble pillars lined the interior, soft glowing lights hummed from below the skylights. Men in tuxedos swirled into a pattern of women in cocktail dresses and bartenders with bottles. Glasses clinked from the hands of wealthy craftsmen and artists.
On the second floor was a large art gallery. Paintings of either a somber feel of a lover’s loss or the warm feel of a man kissing his bride. Wealthy businessmen stood upon small podiums-ears full of shouting to purchase their creation. Yet there was silence away from the noise. Inner thoughts or feelings left away.
Third floor was the Lounge itself. A large circular bar stood in the center, four bartenders stood at each section, pouring richly expensive wines or granting an ear to the folks slumped across the counter in a slur of drunken idiocy. From the Lounge through large bay windows, you could see the rising skyscrapers give way to forests that sprawled across the plains.
Yet the attention was on the view or drinks or art, but the attention was on a man and a woman standing across from each other in the circle of curious onlookers.
The man was dressed nicely. Or at least one point. A tuxedo with what was once a neatly printed tie hung around his neck like a rag. His hair wild and frizzy, a stark contrast to everyone else’s smoothed back hair. A cigar hung from his mouth-ash dropping it like black snow onto the fine rugs below.
The woman had a cocktail dress on, but with a large tear-as if made by a knife-exposed her ribs. Wine and stains from sauces were splattered like abstract art across the front. Her hair was a mess of endless coils of hair and clips. In her hand she held a martini glass, empty and dripping the contents.
“Get outta here ya crazy bimbo” the man said in a Brooklyn accent, tapping on his cigar. “You were always that and always will be!”
“You are one to talk, you…filthy…(hiccup) swine!” The woman shouted, words slurred through a drunken haze. “I knew Mother was right about you!”
“Oh? So the old bat gets her word in, huh? But not the big guy? Well, ya drunken betty…” The man reached into his pocket and pulled something out, concealing it with in his sports jacket. “I’ll give ya something to say!”
He fired his pistol once. The bullet shot up, shattering the skylight. A dull look glazed upon his face matched the dull clink of him reloading the chamber.
“I spent fortunes on ya! Buying ya cars, yachts and even this damn lounge! Nothing but a sack of garbage before me! Just like you!”
A look of horror appeared on the woman’s face. “Now…Michael…please…! We can work this out! We will go to the Islands like old times! How does that sound, honey!” The fear had overtaken her, controlling her.
“The only thing you’ll be visiting is a hole 6 feet under!” The man aimed his pistol and pulled the trigger.
Rather than the sounds of gunfire, a scream and a thud of heavy weights slumping to the floor, there was only a clicking noise. The man looked at his gun again, aimed it and pulled the trigger. Nothing.
“Cut! Someone get this guy some more blanks! Dammit! We almost had it!”
A man, short in stature with a small curly mustache, stepped out on the scene. He wore a fading Hawaiian button shirt and had a cap on reading DIRECTOR on his obviously balding head.
A team of workers, carrying clothes and pushing make-up carts, moved into the scene. The man and woman stopped and look at each other.
Take 23 of the soon-to-be hit play: “Passion of the Arts” had been a flop. A simple requirement for blanks for the gun. But it wasn’t a total flop. That was as far as the team had gotten that night.
The man, a fair-haired tall fellow, looked over at his partner and shrugged. “I thought that was pretty good. Couldn’t we improvise in that scene?”
“Improvise? Ha!” the director scoffed in the man’s face. “We are only 2 days away from show-time and you want to improvise? Why not fly to the moon in a plane made of pure gold while you’re at it?!”
The director pulled his actor closer and pointed to the woman. Laura stood idly by as some stage hands cleaned the dust off her face. Her bright red skin glowed under the hall’s lights. The ghost that made up her hair stared out menacingly at the people around them.
“Laura is our star performer! Never once have I had a bad review from her plays! Every one of her movies I sold out off in hours! She doesn’t do improvising! She does everything perfectly and without question!”
The director shoved the script into the man’s hands. “Get back to reading this. That’ll knock some sense into you”.
The actor mumbled something under his breath as he walked away to his room. The director turned to Laura with a million dollar grin.
“Laura, baby. Why not take the night off? We’ll get an understudy for you and…”
“Understudy? Why? What could that little tramp do that I can’t?”
“Well, you deserve a break here and there. I mean, you’ve done 3 plays in a single day nonstop! Besides, if I don’t “loosen up” some big guy is going to hang out to dry in a courthouse”.
“No buts! Just go home and relax. We’ll do fine without you!” The director said, before noticing a stage hand moving some of the scenery.
“Hey! No touching the scene! Can’t have more screw-ups on this thing can we?”
Laura gave a huff and floated over to the doors to the entrance. Her sister Sylvia and her sister’s “friend” Dennis were waiting outside to see her.
Now, ever since that little “accident” took Laura’s life and turned her into the low-fuse specter we know as her today, she had always craved the spotlights. Either plays or movies, she had always tried to get the head lead.
It made her so upset to be replaced by an understudy. It was like throwing away the golden ticket for a piece of yellow paper. Nonsensical and a waste of time.
She sighed, remembering the good old days of having a body. Not some spiritual double of one, but a real flesh and blood body of skin, organs and bone.
How she lost it she could still remember. Was it an accident? Maybe some sort of fault? Did someone want her dead?
Laura could still hear the crowds that night, all applauding and clapping for her….
Laura watched as the red curtain slid down from the rooftop-a barrier of lace and thick cotton to separate the masses from one.
The play-a romantic thriller with all of your average betrayals, secrets and the dead body and whose name Laura could never really remember-had just finished up for the night. And it was a hit.
The director could be seen with his accountant throughout the show-who were both seated up front in the center to watch his own grand dream come to life-talking about something that involved another account and maybe buying a new extension to his house. That was just a rough guess, no one could really hear him.
Laura turned her back towards the curtain and shouted out into the maze of props, scenery and equipment.
She was known throughout the theater community as the “Seductress of the Stage”. This was on account that she was very attractive and had many suitors in her past. It didn’t really bother her, in fact she liked the name. It made her sound interesting and unique.
“Stagehands!” She shouted out loud to almost no one in particular. “Where are my stagehands?”
As soon as she said that, two male stagehands dashed out across the mess of scenery and actors. One was carrying a brown leather suitcase, locked tight with leather straps. The other was carrying towels and creams to dress or hide any blemishes or scars for an upcoming act.
“Yes?” One of the stagehands said. He was a short lanky guy. He had sunglasses on for whatever reason beyond Laura. His partner was taller and wearing an over decorated tuxedo. Almost like he was trying to impress her.
“I need you to cancel all appointments with my agents until tomorrow.”
“What?” The older said, trying to look as indifferent as he could. “That’s crazy…I mean, your agents have appointments locked up for you for the whole night! There are calls, meetings, galas….”
Laura cut him off by putting her finger to his lips. A strange twisted smile spread across her lips. The two assistants looked not happy or relieved. But almost horrified. Scared stiff.
“Can you two answer these questions for me?” She said, still wearing the eerie grin. “First of, you is the actress here?”
“Correct. Now who are the two personal slack-jockies who run around and organize my dressing rooms, bring me food and manage my appointments?”
Laura smiled wider and patted the two each on the shoulder before pulling them close to her face. They could see her teeth through her lips, still growing wider and more devilish.
“Good. Now who do you think makes all the choices here. The big famous actress or the two lazy stagehands? Hmmm?”
The two stagehands looked at each other and gulped. It was either answer or…well worse. They didn’t know what worse was, but answering would be a bit safer. Just a bit though.
Laura gasped in a mockery of surprise. “That’s right! And those two stagehands better get back to work or else THEY’LL BE FIRED!”
The last few words came out like a scream mixed with a howl. At such close radius the noise was deafening, a siren blown straight into towards an eardrum.
Laura let the two stagehands go, watching them scurry off to their desks or rooms to get started on their work.
Now, people never could really say Laura was a bad person, no. It was just the whole…fiery temper sort of thing. If anyone caught her on the wrong side of the bed or even when there were simply too many outtakes for one play, well….it wasn’t worth speaking about.
Laura glanced down to the floor, noticing they had dropped their items. The suitcase full of papers and the beauty supplies. Scattered across the floor like toddlers had tossed them about.
“Hm” she said to no one in particular. “Typical. Always leaving me to clean up what they don’t”.
She leaned down and picked up the suitcase and supplies before walking off to the back room. The back room was a place where audience members and casting agents could meet freely with the actors and actresses either for autographs or payment.
Laura dumped the items onto a counter somewhere near the backstage door. Outside she could see security guards desperately trying to keep on organizing the masses. Fans and guards alike were pressed between the lobby doors in a fierce push-and-shove game.
There was a man standing just beside the backdoor exit. He had a large black overcoat on and a flat fisherman’s cap. He had a cheap-looking shaven beard on him. He was looking around with an increasingly growing face of sullen emotion, kicking some soda can that had fallen from the trash bins into his vicinity.
Yup. That was Rivera. Laura’s limousine driver. His name was long forgotten to everyone but his family and friends. It wasn’t that no one cared to know his name. He just liked being called Rivera.
He was a nice guy to be honest. Always quiet and respectful of other’s property. Others would bug Laura about differing things, trivial things like her next big play, her love life and such. Rivera was never like that. Sure, they would hang out after shows, drinking at clubs or walking her to clubs and back.
Everyone was pretty sure that Rivera and Laura had a thing in the past. A rumor. A rumor started by jealous partners and gullible paparazzi. Laura nor Rivera would ever say anything about that. Maybe it was true. Maybe it wasn’t. Some things were better left in the past.
“Laura!” Rivera cheered up as soon as he saw his client. “Limo’s out back. Had some trouble with some guys in parking.”
“Rivera” Laura said dully. She grabbed her coat from Rivera and strode out the door. Rivera watched her as he fast-walked over to the alley that served as the path from the playhouse to the streets.
“Hey! Wait up, I have the keys!” He shouted as he chased after her. He caught up to her and unlocked the doors, ignoring the far-off glare of Laura.
Rivera pulled the door open and let Laura inside. The interior was nice and warm; rows of plush seats lined the walls. A casting glow of a fine golden light filled the car. A small wooden bar, polished and stocked with rich wine and light snacks, stood in the interior. Laura had noticed Rivera had prepared a glass of champagne for her on the bar. Like always.
She watched Rivera climb inside the cab. The protective glass barrier was down, allowing conversation between the two. That never really happened unless Laura was in a good mood. Then they would talk about anything they could. The state of the theater industry, her sisters and new parts in a play.
Tonight, Laura was just staring. No, make that glaring. Rivera gulped and adjusted his collar before opening his mouth.
“So…uh…” Rivera said. “How was the show tonight…?”
“Better than being in a ditch”
Laura’s deadpan tone sent shivers down his spine. Rivera gulped again and began to speak again.
“I saw…um…what happened with those stagehands…” Rivera shivered as he took glances at Laura’s emotionless face.
“Oh? Did you?”
“Don’t you think you were a little hard on them?”
“I was just giving them disciplinary order” Laura mumbled, still keeping eye contact. “They were idiots without me”.
Rivera sighed. He was lucky. Laura never did this with him. She would usually smile and nod whenever she wanted something. If he ever found himself on the wrong side of that stick…well…he never wanted to talk about it.
“Laura, some people- I won’t say who-but people out there say you are a bit of a…temper”.
Laura leaned forward, an eyebrow raised. “Oh? I have a temper do I?”
She leaned closer to Rivera. A finger reached out to run along his chest. Her left hand ran through his hair, curling the strands hanging over his face.
“Tell me, Rivera” She said calmly. “Do you think I have a temper. Hmmm?”
“Uh….oh dear God….” Rivera said, trying to focus on the road. “No. No, you don’t.”
Laura smiled. “That’s nice. Really can’t find honest people like you out there.”
Laura leaned back and grabbed the champagne glass. “How many hours until we get home?”
“About an hour, ma’am”
“Okay then. Do you mind if I put the window up? I know how you much you hate not seeing my pretty face…”
Rivera shrugged. “That’s okay, ma’am. I don’t mind”.
Laura nodded, reached over and pushed the window switch. The glass barrier slipped up between the cracks, separating the two.
Laura sighed and laid down across the large rectangular cushion. It had been a long night. Hours of preparation and work throughout the day and a long drive home. It was time for a rest.
Laura slowly began to close her eyes. The lights of the city began to dim out to the empty passage of the streets. Neon signs became mindless jargon dashed upon steel and black. People began to become formless shapes that slipped absentmindedly across the sidewalks. Then, that all slipped away.
As Laura began to drift off to sleep, she heard the sounds of tires squealing. Rivera was shouting something up front, sounding panicked and worried. Bright lights filled the car windows and the limousine swerved sideways. Then, it straightened out again. Rivera’s voice became much calmer but still angry.
Before Laura could hear or see anything else, she fell asleep. All she could hear now was the sound of the engine roaring off into the night.
This was odd. Laura felt lighter. Was someone carrying her? Rivera? No, he never really laid hands on her.
There was a bright light surrounding her. What could be causing that? There was a smell of smoke and metal somewhere out there, but where?
“Uh…” Laura groggily opened her eyes. “What happened? Are we there?”
The white light slowly began to turn away into the star-blotted night sky. Laura looked around. There was no cushion beneath here. No walls aside here. Just the night sky and the void above her.
“What the…?! What’s going on?!”
This was a dream. Wasn’t it? Probably a stress dream. But it felt…so…so...real. There were dreams like that, were there?
The ground below her was nothing but trees and road. Something large and black was blocking half of the road. Several lights dotted the area, blinking on and off. What was that?
Smoke seemed to be rising from the blockage. It smelled of oils and burnt metal. Noises could be heard from below. Voices and sirens.
Laura closed her eyes again. Maybe doing that could wake her up. As she did, she could see the white light again surrounding her. It felt warm and soft, like being in a blanket.
As she opened her eyes again, she noticed she was back on the ground. She felt empty and weightless. Like someone had taken all the weight out of her and flattened her like a roller on dough.
There was no way to describe the feeling she had known around her. Pressure being released in slow hisses, a weight being pushed aside, a warm light-yet somehow freezing-covering the very fabric of her body.
There was a formless shadow standing beside the blockage. Another one beside him-lower and seemingly whimpering-was huddled in a blanket on the back of an ambulance. Someone was tending to the figure it would seem.
Something, by now, didn’t feel right. Everything felt like some sort of twisted dream or some visual reality that refused to exist anymore and began slipping away. But it was there. The people, the burning wreckage and the voices. All of it was there and was real. But why couldn’t she see that?
Then, Laura began to feel odd. Fading away. A feeling of lightness over taking her and pulling her away.
Ahead of her Laura could see someone pulling something out of the wreckage. They then loaded it onto a gurney, holding it far from their faces and bodies.
Laura squinted to make out what that thing on the gurney was. It looked so familiar to her, yet so different now. Something was reminding her of what she was looking at on the gurney, like a memory of what it was or who it was.
As the feeling of lightness overtook her, she finally noticed the object’s form upon the gurney. A body. A very badly burned body. The hair was singed, flesh was boiled and black and the mouth agape in some silent screaming echo.
Then, it made sense. The wreckage, the body, the feeling of lightness and nonexistence. It finally came together.
Laura, the star actress and famed beauty, was dead.
But Laura had no time to react truly to that. A minute later, she had faded away into whatever plane of existence she would know then.
Above the smoking pile of twisted rubble, the night sky became dull and inky black with an almost eerie silence. The smoke vanished across the stars into fading wisps of what once was.
Everything slowly began to fade away into the night. The medical team. The fireman. And the police car followed by a low black funeral car. All faded away into memory.
It was fuzzy. Like waking up to the sight of a screen of TV static replacing your eyes. It was hard to see where she was. Or when she was for that matter.
She had no idea how long it had been since the accident. Days, months, years? She didn’t know. She probably would never know.
The fuzzy vision had slowly begun to wear off. She could see nothing but a dull white. Like a blank canvas or a piece of blank paper.
Laura stood up, legs shaking from the sudden movement. She looked around her body, making sure nothing of importance was lost.
“So….I’m….” Laura practically choked back what she was to say next. “…dead?”
Of course no one answered. It was just her. Alone in a world of washed white. Was this it? Was this what being dead was like?
There were no angels on horns floating on clouds. There was no smell of brimstone and burning sulfur from below. Just a calm white blank surrounding her.
“Hello…? Is anyone out there?” Laura felt stupid for saying that. No one was there. No one was anywhere. It was just her all alone.
She felt a warm glow on her skin. Like someone was holding a heating pad to it. Looking at her arms, she saw something completely strange.
Her entire upper arm was a glowing red. It was illuminating-like with a warm touch of the flesh. She looked down and noticing her legs were a glowing red too. In fact, she felt her body glowing red and hot.
Now, Laura had no clue to why this was going on or why any of this was even happening. To her of all people too.
Laura kneeled down and put her head in her red hands. It was cooling now, almost like it had been hot for a long time and now was slowly become normal skin and flesh again.
She had to find a way out of this. No use of crying or screaming could help her now. She had to find a way to get out of here, maybe even get back to life.
No. That seemed impossible. She was alone in the unknown realm she had now been forced to exist in. How could she get out of this?
Then, as if by some strange luck, she noticed something out of the corner of her eye. A brown rectangle standing there in the distance.
It looked like some old oak door. Standing unsupported in the milky white world. There was a brass knob on the door, giving it a bit more character to it.
A door. Maybe this door could lead her out of this place. Doors always could do that at home so why not here?
Laura got up and walked over to the door. It stood there, silently beckoning her ever closer. Behind the door she heard muffled footsteps and low noises of a deep rumble.
Slowly she grasped the brass handle and turned it a bit, hearing the door creak open as she did so. There was a strange light behind it, leaking out into this white blank area she was in.
With a little more confidence, Laura pulled open the door. There was a bright flash of light and the world began to fade away. It seemed to swirl off in Laura’s eyes, running from her vision and back into place.
The noises behind the door grew louder and louder as Laura peered deeper into the strange glow of the light.
“Well…here goes nothing”.
Laura took a deep breath and stepped forward into the light. As she did, the door behind her, as if by an invisible force, slammed the door shut behind her.
The sound of wood crashing shut echoed for a few minutes, but Laura never heard it. Or even seen it. But it’s not like she would have cared anyway.
The sound of cars on the roadway filled Laura’s ears. Voices of people, hurried and rushed, swirled in with noise of footsteps and tires screeching across weary pavement.
Did she do it? Did she get home? Laura looked from where she was. Just standing there in the middle of the sidewalk among the tightly coiled masses of people.
She saw a man besides her walking along down the street, pushing his way through the crowd of people. Maybe she could ask the guy for directions or where she was exactly.
“Excuse me” She said, leaning over so the man could hear her. “Do you know where the Artist’s Lounge is?”
The man didn’t answer. In fact, he just kept walking like no one was there. Laura sighed and rolled her eyes.
“Typical city jerk” She growled under her breath. But it didn’t matter. She was back home and that was all that she cared about.
Maybe she could hail a taxi for a quick ride. She always caught the attention of cab drivers. Laura always assumed that the same driver had the same thought to get her into their cab.
Laura walked over to the end of the sidewalk, seeing a small cab on the street at a crosswalk. She leaned out and waved her hand frantically to alert the driver she was there.
From in the window she could see the driver glancing bored across the road back and forth, left to right. The light above him changed and he drove away, missing Laura completely.
“Huh. Odd” Laura said to herself. “I think he would have seen me”.
She turned and started walking back down the busy street. It seemed that something didn’t feel right to her. It felt like she was missing something important. But what?
Ahead she saw a billboard on the side of a large brick building. It was covered in Christmas lights and spotlights were fixed upon its railings.
It was a billboard for the Artist’s Lounge. They always had their billboards decked out for new shows or events happening.
The billboard was for a new experimental play called The Entertainment. Laura looked at the sign in confusion and disbelief.
The Entertainment production had started since when she first joined the acting group. It would have been out by 2013 by the rate it took.
It didn’t make sense. Unless…. No. That didn’t seem right. Besides, that was a stupid guess she made.
Laura kept walking. As she passed a few street signs she noticed that she was in a familiar area again. Her apartment was just down the street.
The Equus Towers. Home for the richest and fanciest people in the state. It was known for its name because of the large bronze horse statue in the lobby. No one knew why it was there, but they just accepted it.
As Laura neared the building, she had begun to notice night was falling. The stars dropped away from the heavens beyond to illuminate the earth below. Streetlights came on in slow fizzes of sudden released energy, giving those underneath it a spotlight for a few minutes.
Laura could see the large neon sign reading EQUUS TOWERS in the distance only a few feet in front of her. She could go home and relax about the whole thing. She could sleep this whole thing off. Everything would be normal in the morning, wouldn’t it?
Laura kept walking along the damp and dreary streets until she reached the steps of the building. She could see the same greeter sitting on the bench inside the room between the outside and lobby. But he didn’t see her.
She walked through the revolving glass doors and into the lobby. There stood a teal blue horse stature in the center of the lobby, captured in mid gallop. Several chandeliers lined the hall, each one glistening and sparkling along the ceiling. People walked back and forth up the large staircases or waiting to hitch a ride on the glass elevators that traveled up and down the floors.
“Finally I’m home” Laura thought to herself as she strode over to the reception desk. There was no there, just a book that read SIGN IN.
Laura rolled her eyes. Equus Towers workers were, well, a bit like slackers when it came to things around the building. She grabbed a pen from the coffee cup beside the book and went to sign her name in. Room #245
. 4th Floor.
Odd. The book said someone had signed in already. Someone named Victor. Laura looked at the book again, believing she made a mistake.
Nope. The room had been signed in and owned. But that was impossible. She owned the room for 5 years. She was only gone for a night and now someone had claimed to own it.
Would she call the police for this? No, that would be a whole mess of papers and media attention. Manger? No, that would be worse. Acting like an idiot in front of all her friends at the building.
Wait. Friends. That was it! Rivera had known where she had lived for all his years of driving her. If she could get him on her behalf, everything would be good from here on out.
She remembered that Rivera could be usually seen hanging around the Artist’s Lounge. He was there among all other places.
Laura sighed and stepped back out from Equus Towers. Still, she couldn’t help shake the feeling something was missing…
The night had grown colder. The winds from the forests swirled leaves and refuse from among the streets. People were now wearing thick overcoats or sweaters to keep warm.
Neon lights of pink, blue, green, gold and red flashed among buildings or clubs. Logos of martini drinks or fancy writing stylized the entrances and exits as the folks underneath shivered in the cold crisp air. In the distance, you could just possibly hear the sound of a band playing out from somewhere in the distant streets.
Laura walked silently across the pavement towards the Lounge. She could see its neon glow, hear its crowds cheering and feel the excitement of the theater from afar.
It was strange. Everyone she saw were dressed in heavy clothes and sweaters but she didn’t feel cold. She didn’t feel warm either. Almost like in-between feeling.
She walked up to the large glass doors of the Lounge, hoping to see Riveras there. But instead she only a man leaned against the wall with cane in hand.
The man was tall and wearing a ripped overcoat. His face was covered in scars-one riding across his left eye. His leg was bent a bit in a funny position-answering the fact to why he had a cane. He had a cigarette hanging out his mouth as he eyed the area dully.
Laura ignored him and walked inside. Funny how the door felt so light in her hands now. She walked towards the backroom where fans and agents could meet with the actors of that night.
There must have been a show that night. Laura could see people flocking around the doors and halls like rabid bats looking for prey. There was a plastic poster on a tripod just beside the entrance to the theater hall.
“THE ENTERTAINMENT: BASED ON THE PLAY BY LEM DOOLITTLE. IN MEMORY OF ONE WHO HAS LEFT US THE PAST YEAR AGO”.
In memory? Of who? Laura knew that it wasn’t her. I mean, she came back to life after leaving that weird place right? Right?
Laura turned back around to head to the backroom. Her head was buzzing with questions. Questions that didn’t make sense to her or couldn’t get a straight answer.
Then, Laura saw it. It was hanging on the wooden pillar between the doors to the backroom. It was a picture. A picture of her, to be more exact. A small plague under it read: “IN MEMORY OF THE SEDUCTRESS OF THE STAGE”.
Now, Laura knew. From the people ignoring her to the yearlong time-skip, she knew. Truth was now revealed that she was a ghost. Dead but yet still alive.
She had died a year ago in a terrible car accident. Her limousine was rear-ended by a mysterious driver and pushed off the road. It hit a guardrail and the engine exploded. Rivera the limousine driver had escaped because he was knocked out of the limo when it hit the rail. Shattered a good chunk of his leg too. Laura, however, was not so lucky…
Laura looked around at the people, eyes tearing up. No one could see here, no one could hear her. She was alone again. No friends to help her, just her alone and lost forever in a world she once knew and was a part of.
She started to cry, but it didn’t help. No one could really hear anything anyway.
Laura’s mind tried to shift to happier thoughts. Getting back with her sisters. Finding a way to start talking to people again. Finding a new carrier in acting. But her mind stayed stuck to that one particular spot of her alone and crying on the theater floor.
Suddenly, her train of thought was stopped by someone bumping into her. Laura stumbled back. The man looked back behind his shoulder.
“Sorry about that, ma’am” The man said, helping her to her feet. “You okay?”
“Yes. Yes. I’m fine” Laura said, brushing off her coat of dust and grime from the floor.
The man smiled and laughed under his breath. Then, his phone starting ringing. He picked it up and answered the other on the phone.
“Hello? Oh, okay then. I’ll be there to pick you up in a few minutes”.
He shut his phone off and walked over to the exit. Laura saw Dennis and Sylvia outside. Sylvia with Dennis’s game system with Dennis trying to get it back.
Laura sighed and walked over to the exit. The two would be happy to see and to get home. Then she could get home and get some well-deserved rest.
She looked back at the man. He wasn’t walking out the door, but he seemed to be limping. In his hand was a wooden cane and a pack of cigarettes. An overcoat that looked like it was from decades ago was draped over his shoulder.
As Laura stepped outside, she watched Sylvia and Dennis looked up from trying to gain control of the game to see her.
Behind her, the man got inside his limousine and drove off into the night, leaving nothing behind but tire tracks.